Monday, January 19, 2009

Photos: Allen Plaza's Previous Facade

Several months ago a small piece of the former facade on the Allen Plaza was exposed after a window was removed. A larger portion of the exterior facade was then removed about a month ago, revealing a complete section of the old facade and the extent to which it was damaged to attach the newer facade.
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By comparing the exposed area to renderings that have been released, it seems likely that this section of facade was only exposed for the purpose of attaching the newest exterior, a prominent glass "tower" on the corner of the building.
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11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amazing.
It looks like it has more beauty than a multiple of downtown structures.
They should in a way blend it into the project. It is intact enough to be restored and would be quiet a beauty as the last remainder of a long gone Indianapolis landmark.

Ahow said...

You might as well just showed us a terrorist beheading video or a PETA cow slaughter video. That poor, poor building...

Ahow's Hand Wringing said...

"Intact" Did someone post that the old limestone was intact?!? Are you blind? Looks like the previous renovation SEVERELY damaged the limestone in order to put on the new facade. Look how it has been chipped off; ground down; and cut.

Comparing the renovation of a building to the murder of a human being is extremely disturbing to say the least.

Ahow said...

My apologies. The great art of hyperbole is hard to convey on the interwebs...

mheidelberger said...

Desecration may be an overly dramatic word to use, but it is sad to see how the original facade was completely violated to make way for a more 'modern' facade that encased the Jefferson Plaza.

Anonymous said...

Compared to many structures in the history of restoration this building is intact(or this section.)
The over all facade is still there.
Technology today would allow for these missing ornaments to be easily restored or remade.
Hell, technology would make it possible to rebuild the whole bank.
However, the IHPC should have done their homework before approving this.

Firewoman said...

Thanks for sharing the photos. What a shame this grand old building was ever covered up. Before this current renovation I always thought that building must've been built in the 60's. It looked like a prison. Does anyone know when the original building was built or have any pics of it? It must've been beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Firewoman,
that is an addition to a large elite bank that once stood on the avenue.
A bank has sat there since the first half of the 19th century.
The first large structure was a stone greek revival building built some time before the civil-war.
Later it was rebuild in a greco-roman classical style sometime in the late 19th century. The structure included a stained glass rotunda, sculpted facade, and statues at it's main entrance.
Behind it was the Knights of the Pythias, which in the early 20th century moved, leaving their grand mid-rise building to be razed and replaced with an addition to the bank in the 1920's.
This is the addition to the bank which was placed there nearly a century ago. It was designed to look exactly like the rest of the facade facing that street.
In the mid-20th century the bank was demolished and replaced with parking while the Jefferson Plaza building was constructed over the 1920's structure. For a little while the original facade of this addition was exposed with the large modern building on the top if it. However, sometime later it was covered up to match the rest of the structure. It seems in this remodel many decorations were damaged.
Many after this assumed it had been removed completely, but in the world of mid-century facades that was rarely the case.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of effort on the IHPC's part, this facade, the last remainder of a beautiful bank, will be partly destroyed, and the rest of it covered for god knows how long.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Cliff Clavin! Not sure if you are banging on the IHPC now or for what was done in the late 60s/early 70s. But again, as other comments have pointed out, the destruction of the beautiful limestone structure was done some 30 years ago, not with this current renovation. By all appearances, there isn't anything left to save.

Anonymous said...

There is something to save.
A decent portion of the facade is still there and intact enough to be properly restored. No, the whole building cannot be rebuilt, but the city has a chance to restore a part of a landmark that has been mostly destroyed. Eh,who knows? Maybe in the future someone will regard the rest of these left overs with a little more respect.

Firewoman said...

Thank you very much Anonymous for the information about the original building. I've seen pictures of the Knights building but never could picture where it once stood, so I appreciate that info as well. What a shame this building has gone through so many changes that it's no longer recognizable. I wish I could've seen the building with the rotunda and the statues. Maybe in the future we'll be better at preserving our past instead of plowing it over or covering it up.